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The final pro hockey game at the Spectrum has been played.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Phantoms at Lowell: Third Period.

Lowell has come barging out of the gates to start the third. They spent pretty much the first minute of the period attacking in our zone, but we withstood the onslaught.

Fight: Parente nailed two of our guys with huge checks in this game. Gratton, now wearing 13 (as opposed to the 24 he had on during our home game), is our combatant. Boy, are a lot of roundhouses being thrown. Looks like it was relatively even to me, but they'll both probably be sporting some bruises in the aftermath.

Right on the following shift, freaking Lowell scored. There's 18:16 left in the period, and our lead is cut to 2-1. Time for us to get some energy going, because the fight and the goal are sure to fire up Lowell.

We're going on a PP less than a minute later, though, so it's time for us to start generating some momentum of our own.

Man, we got a little bit of something going at the very beginning of this PP, but since then, nada. Dumping the puck in has been less than effective, and we haven't managed to get ourselves set up since then. In fact, a defensive-zone turnover caused us to get a penalty, meaning that we'll be at 4 on 4 for 18 seconds.

Or will we? Lowell took a penalty during that brief 4-on-4, making it a not-so-brief 4-on-4.

Good grief. Here we go with Koharski. With 1:24 left in the 4 on 4, Syvret gets a penalty AND Downie gets a penalty simultaneously. So once again, we have three penalties at once an our third guy in the box won't start seeing the clock tick on his infraction until our first guy is done.

Most of this mess will see us at 4 on 3. There'll be about 12 seconds of 5-on-3 PK for us, and then 5-on-4 till the last minor on us expires.

Unless Koharski calls something the heck else in the freaking meantime. Who the heck knows WHAT the on-ice configurations will look like then? :headdesk: :headdesk:

Anyway, here we are, clearing the puck nicely several times in a row. Our two D are being great about getting right into position to help Aubin when the puck does go on net.

I don't think the penalty timekeepers know what's going on either, because they let Curry out of the sin bin when they shouldn't have done. We should have remained with three players on the ice, since we still had two guys serving penalties in the box. Instead we wound up at 4-on-4 briefly before someone realized there was a mistake.

We currently have FOUR players in the box. This is flippng ridiculous. It appears that we are going to have the clock reset back to the time that Curry's penalty expired. If they do that, they're also going to have to increase everyone's penalty time by the amount of time that Curry spent on the ice, approximately 6 seconds.

Kalinski gets a 2 on 1 shorthanded, but nothing much came of it. We have just killed the PK from Hell, so I'm really pleased with our performance there. We have 11:18 remaining in the period, and a 2-1 lead.

Now it's OUR turn to go on the PP, seconds after we return to even strength. Come on, guys, give us that dangerous PP that we've seen over the past several games!

I like DeSantis's shot from the blue line. It didn't go in, but it got into the vicinity of the net and gave us a nice opportunity before Caruso froze it. ROSS gets his own rebound, this time on the PP, and we lead 3-1 with 9:29 left. Downie's in the box, so he couldn't have gotten his third assist of the night this time around. Seems like that's the only way to keep him from assisting: put him in the penalty box. ;) That was Ross's third goal in two games with us.

Giroux is on the attack again. He stickhandled around a defenseman, but then lost the puck. He might have to start re-thinking some of the high-risk plays that he tries with the puck when he's right on top of the other team's defenders. I'm sure he'll learn over time when to try that and when to go for the safe play.

Now the Phantoms are clogging up the ice for all they're worth. We have 6:22 remaining in the game, and it seems we have every intention of making the Devils work their rumps off for every inch of ice they gain. Lowell just iced the puck twice in a row, which is curious, considering that they have to keep the same players on the ice for the ensuing faceoff.

Exactly a minute later, we are on the PP again as Giroux got hauled down to prevent him from having a clear path right to the net. Hmm, maybe we can let him attack however he darn well pleases, as long as he draws penalties. ;)

Parents flattens Ross, Gratton goes for Parente, but no fight happens. Parente dropped his gloves and stick, but play continued and Parente ended up back on the bench without equipment. (To which I reply, "What the Sam Hill was THAT?) However, later on the same shift, Gratton is now going to fight Fraser instead of Parente. They're both alterating short punches with some "haul off and punch" shots for all they're worth. Gratton gives up a noticeable amount of reach to Fraser. Darn, that was a long bout. As with the previous tilt, this one was relatively even. Both players doled out and withstood some big punches, but neither one appeared to be rocked to the point where one could say he lost the fight.

The Devils pull the goaltender in the last minute, but to no avail.

The Phantoms have just won for the 500th time in franchise history, as well as winning our 5th consecutive game after a five-game losing streak. Good job, guys!

Shots on goal at the end of the game: Phantoms 36, Lowell, 32.

Stars of the game:

#3. Vasyunov
#2. Downie
#1. Ross

The boxscore for the game can be found here.

The game recap is available on the Phantoms site: Ross Carries Phantoms to 500.

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